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close up view of the statue
Closest available address
2 Lincoln Memorial Circle NW Washington, DC 20037
The memorial is open 24 hours. Rangers are here from 9:30am-11:30pm.
30 minutes or less
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
District of Columbia
The Lincoln Memorial is a world famous tribute to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. It is 99 feet high and built in an ancient Greek architectural style. The focal point is a 19 foot seated statue of Lincoln. On the side walls flanking the statue are inscriptions from two of Lincoln’s most famous and eloquent speeches: The Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address. This memorial is one of the most popular and crowded attractions in the city.
The memorial opened in 1922 and was designed by Henry Bacon. The building has a beautiful shape, simplicity and symmetry. There are 36 building columns representing the 36 states during Lincoln’s time. The memorial's centerpiece, a seated and thoughtful statue of Lincoln, is a singular achievement and has become an iconic image. It was created by Daniel Chester French. The memorial site is situated on a direct line with the Washington Monument, symbolizing the establishment of the country and its preservation.
While the memorial can be seen in a few minutes and most people do just that, to better appreciate the meaning of the place, this is a visit that should not be rushed. Seeing the memorial without stopping to read the inscriptions is like going to a park without leaving your car. You get a perspective but are missing the point. Lincoln’s ability to express noble and almost spiritual ideals in a concise, relevant, humble and touching manner was a special gift that endeared him to the many at a time of great trials. When you read his thoughts and consider his personal sacrifice, the memorial transcends from a historical site to more of a temple and Lincoln is elevated from a historical figure to something more akin to a deity. Given Lincoln’s importance and the memorial’s reputation, a visit here should have near universal appeal. This memorial fits in well with the nearby Vietnam and Korean War Memorials. Ranger tours are offered every hour on the hour from 10:00am-11:00pm.
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